West Ham United vs. Newcastle United: Final score 0-0, Magpies still endangered after Hammers stalemate

Ian Walton

Newcastle United are still in a relegation battle after they fought out a 0-0 draw with West Ham United at Upton Park.

Newcastle enjoyed most of the early chances as they got off to a reasonably bright start, Hatem Ben Arfa looking less than an adonis in terms of his physique after returning from a long injury, but still proving dangerous as he curled an early free-kick just over the crossbar.

Shortly afterwards, Papiss Cisse went close too, picking up a fine ball from Yohan Cabaye but seeing Winston Reid clear his disappointing effort off the line. The Magpies protested that the ball had crossed the line, but the referee correctly waved play on.

Despite their energy, Newcastle struggled to create too many more clear chances, and went in at the break level. In an all too familiar pattern for fans of the club this season, their second half was initially lacklustre in comparison, as they allowed the Hammers to grow into and then impose themselves on the game. Mohamed Diame and Matt Jarvis both supplied fine crosses to Andy Carroll, but the former Magpies striker couldn't make anything of either of them.

Newcastle were then within a hair of falling behind during a remarkable spell of play - first a dangerous ball from a corner was cleared by Gouffran, before a cross into the area saw Carroll hauled down at the far post for a big penalty shout for the hosts. With the ball still in played, Kevin Nolan was inches away from scoring at the other side of the goal, before Matt Jarvis let fly with a swerving shot for the top corner which Rob Elliot somehow kept out to keep the scores level.

Newcastle were under pressure, but came close to the lead shortly afterwards - Jussi Jaaskelainen needlessly came out of his goal to deal with a long ball, but was beaten to it by Gouffran, but his volleyed effort landed just wide of the open goal. Shola Ameobi also went close with a long-range effort, although there was some discontent from the away fans when Pardew questionable opted to introduce Dan Gosling to the fray, with Vurnon Anita remaining idle on the bench.

The rest of the game saw few chances, until West Ham almost clinched a late winner, with Andy Carroll towering above Rob Elliot from a free-kick but hitting the post, only for it to be ruled out for offside.

In the end, the game ended goalless as neither side could force the issue. West Ham are safe, but with results elsewhere having gone about as bad as they could have, Wigan and Aston Villa both clinching wins, it'll make for a very nervy end to the season for Newcastle, who really should be doing better than they are currently.

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